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Weeping willow is a large tree that can often be found near rivers and water bodies in a temperate climate. Judging by the fact that the plant feels great in the wild and tolerates heat and frost, it will not be difficult to take care of it at home. Willow looks great in parks, recreation areas or even in the courtyard of the house.
The tree can grow up to 25 meters and live for 100 years.
What are the species of willow?
Weeping willow in landscape design is an unusual decision. Among the species of willow trees you can find both full-fledged trees with a powerful trunk, and decorative shrubs. Varieties are different, because they are adapted to live in different climatic conditions:
- White willow is a tree whose height can reach 25 m. The life of the variety is about 100 years. White willow is called because from the lower side its leaves are painted in light color. The plant feels well on the banks of rivers and reservoirs, it can also be planted near an artificial pond.
- Weeping white willow, too, has an unusual color, but differs in the shape of the crown. Its branches are long, flexible, lowered to the ground. The bark of the tree has a rich yellow tint.
- The Babylonian willow also has a weeping crown. In height it can reach 15 m and more, the life span is about 100 years. The leaves are light, but without a silvery hue. The tree grows rapidly and reaches its peak. The most comfortable conditions for his life are well-lit banks of reservoirs.
- A shaggy dwarf willow is a shrub that does not grow above 2 meters. Its leaves are different from those that grow on the usual weeping willow - rounded and covered with light fluff. This plant can form a crown of unusual shape, as the shoots are strong and grow up. The bush easily tolerates winter frosts, preferring to grow on moist soil.
- Goat willow - a kind of tree, which is often planted in parks and recreation areas. The shoots are directed downwards, and small leaves of round shape grow on them. Flowering occurs in the spring, during this period the tree spreads sweet honey aroma.
There are other varieties of such a tree as a weeping willow. They can be absolutely different in appearance, but all belong to the family of willow. These are not only large trees with branches falling to the ground, but also small shrubs with an unusual form of leaves. With proper care and watering, the willow grows rapidly, and by cutting it is possible to form the crown of the desired shape on it.
Rules for planting and care
It is not difficult to look after a decorative weeping willow. The only thing worth paying attention to is the composition of the soil and its moisture content. In natural conditions, the tree grows on sandy loam or loamy grounds and constantly receives the necessary amount of water from the reservoir. If you plant a willow away from natural sources of moisture (pond or river), it will have to be watered constantly. In the dry, hot summer days it will be useful to sprinkle the leaves.
The plant does not need additional fertilizing. It perfectly adapts to temperature changes and tolerates both heat and frost. However, you can periodically fertilize the soil with organic fertilizers - humus or compost.
The most comfortable is the weeping willow grow on permanently moist soil. It will grow faster if the groundwater table is high.
Reproduction of willow
In natural conditions, the tree multiplies by seeds, at home, cuttings or seedlings are used. Cuttings harvested in spring or autumn, they are suitable for the middle sections of young branches, which are not more than 2 years old. Then they need to be prepared for planting:
- the optimal length of the cuttings is from 20 to 30 cm;
- planted in the ground in a greenhouse or any other warm room;
- until the seedlings are strong and ready for transplantation, they should often be watered, fertilized and loosened around the ground;
- young trees are not planted on the street in the first year, they must spend the first winter in the heat.
Planting a weeping willow in the open ground is produced in the spring, when the snow completely melted. By this time, the young tree will have to completely form the root system. You can also drop it in the fall, when the juice has already run out. In this case, the soil will need to be covered with leaves or straw, and the tree itself with lapnik.
In the earth it is necessary to dig a shallow pit (up to 60 cm deep). During planting, the tree should be fertilized, so that it quickly took root. The lower third of the pit is filled with a mixture of soil, peat and humus, and the remaining volume is filled with earth. The soil is raked to the seedling in such a way that it forms a mound around which there will be a recess for irrigation. After planting, 2 buckets of water are poured under the plant. Dwarf weeping willow is no less resistant to changing weather conditions than a full tree.
If the seedling is tall and unstable, it will require additional support. Next to him put a peg, and a young tree is loosely fixed with a rope.
Cultivation on the stem
Weeping willow on the stem will be an ornament of any garden. Stamped trees are called trees, in which a decorative crown, its own or grafted, departs from the straight trunk without branches (actually the stem). For these purposes, a variety such as goat willow is suitable. It can be grafted on a stem, but there is another way to grow it original:
- after landing choose a strong and powerful escape and tightly fix it to the support;
- As the stem grows, the trunk is bandaged higher, so that it grows upright and does not branch;
- the lateral shoots in summer need to be shortened by a third, so that the nutrients enter the main trunk, and it grows stronger;
- in autumn, the remaining parts of the shoots are removed completely, leaving the hemp length of, cm.
When the stem reaches the desired height, the support is removed. The next step is to form a uniform thick crown that will fall downwards. To do this, it is sufficient to trim it so that all branches grow back down. Their ends are plucked, and shoots begin to give new branches.
In the photo a weeping willow, grown on a stem, looks original. As a staff, you can use other trees of upright varieties, and graft goat willow as a decorative crown. To begin with, it is necessary to plant the stem, so that by the time of vaccination it has managed to grow stronger and take root. The procedure is best done in late spring or early summer. When he is ready to be vaccinated, a cleft is made on his apex, into which the willow willow will be planted. They usually get along well, if vaccinated in the spring. As a result, the tree grows smooth and high from below, and on its top is a weeping crown.
Before you plant a new tree in your garden, you should read the description of the weeping willow and make sure that the climatic conditions are suitable for it. Do not plant it on sites where the groundwater table is low, as it will have to produce daily watering. If possible, choose places near natural or artificial water bodies. Planting young trees is not difficult even for a beginner gardener, but the preparation of the cuttings can be prolonged. The best solution is to buy a young seedlings ready for planting at the age of 1 or 2 years old, which already has a root system. With due care and suitable conditions, the tree will live for at least 100 years.